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AKKA ASP Could Add IGTC, IMSA Races to Blancpain GT

AKKA ASP looking at IGTC, IMSA options alongside up to four cars in Blancpain GT…

Photo: Mercedes

AKKA ASP is set for a slight downsize of its Blancpain GT Series program next year but is looking at options to enter other series as well, according to team principal Jerome Policand.

The French squad ran five Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the Endurance Cup and four in the Sprint Cup en route to winning the Blancpain GT teams’ championship.

“We will carry on in Blancpain, in Sprint and Endurance, that’s 100 percent,” Policand told Sportscar365.

“Less [cars] than this year, not five cars in Endurance because it was a lot. I hope for four cars in Sprint and four cars in Endurance, I hope.”

Policand said he’d like to do more Intercontinental GT Challenge races but it would likely have to be supporting another entrant, as the team did with the SunEnergy1 Racing entries at last weekend’s California 8 Hours.

It is therefore unlikely that AKKA ASP would ship its own cars to each of the flyaway IGTC rounds, instead relying on customers such as Kenny Habul to have their own local cars. 

“I need my tools in Europe, that’s the problem,” he explained. “The first race is in Australia, and at Spa it’s easy, but as soon as you finish Spa, you need to have some containers. It’s difficult to split everything.”

Policand admitted he’d “love to do” the Rolex 24 at Daytona but says it would be too tough of an introduction into the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

As a result, they might consider first competing in some of the two-hour, 40-minute WeatherTech Sprint Cup races to get an easier introduction to the championship.

“For a European team it’s not so easy to perform in the U.S. because the U.S. teams can use their rules which are different,” he said.

“At Daytona, it’s a lot of strategy to have the right people and right drivers at the end of the race. There is a budget, and we need to find the budget, but otherwise you need to be ready.

“Maybe to start directly with Daytona is tough. It’s maybe better to do some [shorter] IMSA races to get used to it and then Daytona.”

WRT Expecting “Copy” of 2018 Program

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT team principal Vincent Vosse explained that he expects a “copy of this year” for most of his team’s GT3 entries.

“It depends on the exact program, it could be VLN, not VLN, Nürburgring, Intercontinental [GT Challenge],” Vosse told Sportscar365.

“This has to be defined, but for the rest, we know where we are going.”

The Belgian squad plans to again enter four cars in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and two in the Endurance Cup, but said that “can move a bit”.

WRT could also run the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai in January with the new Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo, while they are “talking” about a Rolex 24 at Daytona entry.

Vosse stressed that the team’s recent entry into DTM won’t dictate any changes on its existing programs.

“We will have three different programs which will be WTCR, GT3 and DTM,” he said.

“We will not mix them, it will be a team for each program. We just have to see how many cars we run in the GT3 program.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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